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Important COVID-Related Updates for Upcoming Events
May 13, 2022

Shabbat Shalom,
 
The CDC has once again designated Middlesex county as high risk for COVID-19 transmission and recommends wearing masks indoors in all public places. Given this development and the numerous simultaneous large gatherings this weekend at the temple, the COVID Taskforce is adding extra layers of protection for Temple Isaiah sponsored events through next Friday May 20th.

- Any eating associated with events will take place outdoors (with the exception of B’nai Mitzvah)

- Masks will be required indoors at the temple at all times

As a reminder, these items from our current COVID policy are still in place:

- Individuals who will be on the bimah during worship can be unmasked only if they are up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations and have a negative rapid antigen test that day (a home test is acceptable)

Please note: Individuals who have had a COVID exposure in the last 10 days, or who are on day 6-10 after having COVID, are still required to have a negative antigen test before entering the temple, and they must wear a mask at all times at the Temple. These individuals should be mindful of social distancing if not wearing a mask outdoors. If you have a household member who is currently positive, you are at higher risk for contracting the virus so we ask you to take that into consideration before coming to the temple.

Most importantly, stay home if you are sick and please take a COVID test! Many people think they just have a cold or allergies but are positive for COVID. Please keep in mind that a single negative test, especially an antigen test, does not exclude the possibility of COVID.

Here is a summary of all events and what COVID protocol to expect:

High School Senior Shabbat Dinner:

- Food will be consumed only outdoors

LEFTY Program:

- Masks are required indoors, at all times

Mitzvah Day:

- Masks are required indoors, at all times

- Food will be consumed only outdoors

Religious School:

- Masks are required indoors, at all times

​​​​​​​Kibbitz and Knishes:

- Food will be consumed only outdoors

​​​​​​​Musical Celebration:​​​​​​​

- Masks are required indoors, at all times

- Food will be consumed only outdoors

- Concert will be livestreamed in addition to the in-person event. Watch the livestream here

​​​​​​​The past couple of years we have learned that the only thing certain about COVID is its uncertainty. Thank you for your flexibility and support as we continue to navigate the best path to keep our community connected in meaningful ways while minimizing the risk for COVID exposures

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Howard L. Jaffe
​​​​​​​Rachel Hayes, President

And the Temple Isaiah COVID Taskforce:

Steve Deutsch, Chair
Jessica Fefferman
Naomi Greenfield
Rachel Hayes
Rabbi Amy Hertz
Lauren Jordahl
Courtney Lauriat
Kathleen Lenihan
Judy Shapiro
​​​​​​​Kimon Zachary

Reopening Updates

Updated COVID-19 Policy, Effective March 25, 2022
March 22, 2022

Dear friends,

As the rate of COVID-19 cases has been falling, especially here in our immediate area, practices regarding masking have, as you know, been evolving. As a community with particularly high vaccination rates, and in light of the town of Lexington’s relaxation of its masking requirement, we are pleased to announce our updated COVID-19 policy and practices regarding our gatherings at Temple Isaiah.

Our COVID-19 Task Force, which includes medical, public health, legal, lay leaders, and key staff, has been meeting regularly throughout the pandemic, and guiding our response as a congregation. Reflecting our values as a sacred community, we have tended to be a bit more cautious and conservative about relaxing our practices, out of concern for the most vulnerable amongst us, and out of an abundance of caution for all of us. That has, at some points, proven to be especially fortunate, especially when cases began to rise more quickly than anticipated at previous points in time. Hopefully, that is now behind us, though as we prepare to move forward in this new moment, we want to be thoughtful and intentional about our practices.

We understand that for some, these changes will be met with uncertainty, and for some, they will not go far enough. Our practices and policies are all rooted in, again, our values as a sacred community, so that we can help each other feel safe and be comfortable at Temple Isaiah. Understanding that each of us will make different choices, it will be important for all of us to remember, to be respectful of the choices of others, even when they are different from our own. It is our hope that in doing so, we will be able, more and more, to return to the kind of experience we knew pre-pandemic.

This policy, based on substantiated data, was designed to be flexible so that it allows us to tighten or relax our guidelines as circumstances shift. To that end, we will continue to monitor the situation, and update our practices and policies accordingly.

Rabbi Howard L. Jaffe

Tue, May 17 2022 16 Iyar 5782